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01/04/2010 10:25:00

Introduction to Family Recipe Testing


I get a bit obsessed with recipe books. I would just as soon read a recipe book as any other kind of book and I have a very habitual way of reading them. I just wish I had more time to cook all the recipes I want to try!


I skim through looking at how gorgeous and yummy they look, then I pick through again picking out which recipes I would actually cook, which I can afford on an everyday basis, and which ones the children would be likely to eat without any alterations (not too spicy, too salty, etc). Then only later will I look at more 'aspirational' recipes for a special occasion or to try out for fun.


Sometimes, of course, the recipes don't live up to expectations in real life. Usually for me they are too bland, or for the children they are too 'interesting'. Or they are so fiddly to make that you'd rather pull out your fingernails than make them again.


I try to get my kids involved in cooking. Not just crispy cakes and cookies, although those are brilliant ways to get them interested, but also in cooking everyday foods. When we were growing up we all helped to cook, and by our early teens were expected to cook for the family once in a while. I am trying to work our kids up to eventually making the family dinner once a week (long way off yet!).


So I thought we could share our experiments with you. Once a week the children are going to help me pick a recipe to cook together, and we'll share how easy or difficult it is to make, whether it's fun or fiddly, and what it tastes like.


We'll also all rate the results out of ten (adults and children) and say what we think is good and bad about it. In case you're thinking we're all total gourmets and our opinions will not be like a 'normal' family, rest assured. I'm pretty open to new foods, but I am not keen on rich things and I can't eat much wheat without regretting it. My other half will eat anything except custard and solid cream but has a huge sweet tooth. Jacob (8 at the time of writing) is now pretty adventurous for a kid, he'll certainly have a try at anything, but is not keen on cheese. loves anything with tomatoes in it and is always brutally honest about what he doesn't like. And Anna (6) would sell her soul for macaroni cheese, eats incredibly slowly and is still suspicious of new things. We grow a lot of our own veg and only llike to buy higher welfare meat so we tend to eat a lot of vegetarian foods. And we don't have lots of money to spare, so cheaper meat cuts, veggie food and cutting down waste are a big factor in our decisions. This will probably be reflected in the recipes we choose.


I'll also put links to any successful ones into the recipes section in resources and link them back to the seasonal sections when it is appropriate.


If you have any suggestions for recipes, I'd be happy to try them. Hope you enjoy our experiments!


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